When Andy Cohen asked Dorinda Medley if she would host Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex Wives Club at one of the most iconic homes in franchise history, Bluestone Manor, the former Real Housewives of New York cast member was immediately in. That was until the drama, filming, production and behind the scenes work all became just a bit too overwhelming for the owner of the estate.
“I kind of wish we only did four days because at one point, I just wanted to be a guest filming,” Medley told Los Angeles. “When you guys all see breakfast, I was up an hour and a half before arranging it. When the girls are all getting hair and makeup done and taking naps, I’m arranging the next thing because this is not a hotel, this is my home.”
“I cried to one of the producers and told him I really don’t want to do it anymore,” she added. “He told me to take a nap and come back, and I was like, ‘OK, woo. I got it. I’m going back because it’s work. It’s a commitment and if we all work collectively together, we’re going to get a beautiful show.’”
Medley added that one of the most fun parts of the season is when fans will get treated to “some good old fashioned housewifery,” where the cast is more stripped down than the usual franchise glam expectations.
It’s not all about the hair and makeup, it’s not about the getting ready
“No, it’s just here we are. The good, the bad, the happy, the sad. We’re letting it all hang out and that’s what I think people really need to have again.”
Though the women might be more casual, Cohen promises the season offers more “twisted” storylines than ever. In fact, the drama is so intense, some of it has continued post-production and leaked its way into the tabloids.
As of late, Medley and former Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Vicki Gunvalson went head to head after she made comments about Bluestone Manor being “old,” “in the middle of nowhere” and not her taste. Medley first took the sly comments to heart, as she takes pride in the way she has cared for the property over the years, but now realizes there was likely more behind Gunvalson’s words that had nothing to do with her home.
“I don’t think it was about the house and I think you’re going to see that. When you’re a host and you’re hosting a lot of people and you really make a huge effort and you’ve been really getting ready for this for ten days, you want people to be happy and when someone comes in and their energy is down and you can tell they’re not happy, it really is sort of frustrating and heartbreaking,” Medley said.
“I just don’t think she wanted to be here at all. I don’t think it had anything to do with me or the house. I just think at the end of the day, she’s a different energy,” she added. “At one point I think I asked her why she’s even here and I didn’t want it to drag down the other girls because the truth of the matter is we all signed on the bottom line. We all knew what we were getting into and we wanted to make a good show and believe me, there were times I didn’t want to halfway through it.”
Medley and Gunvalson’s drama affected the other cast members as well such as Brandi Glanville, who claimed it was a constant “queen bee off” between the two formerly popular housewives.
“There’s no competition here because I own the house, you’re coming to me, I’m the host. I win if that’s what it is, but I didn’t even feel like that,” Medley said. “I’ve arranged as much as I possibly could post-COVID to keep the girls occupied and to make it as visual as possible. It’s not easy to occupy seven girls, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after dinner. And you’ll see, I get exhausted.”
“There was a lot of behind the scenes work so there was zero queen bee. If I were a queen bee, I would’ve probably walked away,” she added. “I was tired at the end. I’m not gonna lie to you when they left, I slept for two days.”
While Medley did take a load of the production on herself, she did have the help of the entire Bravo team who transformed Bluestone Manor into a full set.
“There were over a hundred people here. There were port-o-potties. There were COVID tents. There were drone centers. They brought their own electricity. I mean, you’re going to see Bluestone Manor in a much bigger way,” Medley said. “It was scary because when I looked out the window, people were crawling everywhere. It was just like a film set.”
The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip airs June 23 on Peacock.
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